Reviews

Set the Woods on Fire

Author: Brian Krasman
08/09/2007 | McKeesport Daily News | www.dailynewsmckeesport.com | Album Review
Ever since Azure Ray folded their tents in 2004, both Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor have kept themselves quite busy.
While Taylor was carving out a solid solo career and drumming in Bright Eyes videos, Fink also was crafting her own songs and then formed Art in Manila, a band that maintains her folkish parts and adds some rock and psychedelia. Fink said she relishes the Art in Manila outlet because it allows her to write to her bandmates' strengths, a statement I'd have a pretty hard time disputing.
Many of the 11 songs on "Set the Woods on Fire" (a title that I hear has Smokey the Bear all up in a tizzy) are quiet, laid back, serene, lush. Basically, if you like Azure Ray and Fink's solo work, you won't be too surprised. "Time Gets Us All" should make the aforementioned folks right at home as the disc starts, as should "The Abomination," the woodsy "Golden Dawn," atmospheric "I Thought I Was Free" and "The Sweat Descends," where she sings, "Wake me when we get to heaven/ Let me sleep if we go to hell." But Art in Manila can rock as well, as they prove on guitar-lick-happy "Our Addiction," the title track, and "Precious Pearl," which sounds like an ambient metal song before Fink's Jenny Lewis-style vocals remind us just who we're hearing. Very encouraging debut.